Sopes are small, round, tartlet-like cakes made with masa harina, the flour used to prepare corn tortillas. A sope can be filled with anything from meat, beans, salsa, cheese or a combination of these. My simple recipe is filled with beans, roasted chiles, and topped with queso fresco and cilantro. Growing up we called them chalupitas, or “little boats”. These are great appetizers for any party. Impress all your amigos on Super Bowl Sunday with these delicious starters. Try to prepare the sopes ahead of time and then on game day all you have to do is fill and bake. Some Mexican grocery stores even sell sopes premade with about 6-8 in a package. If you’re in a pinch you can always cheat and buy some at a Mexican grocer near you.
This appetizer goes perfectly with a Michelada.
- 2 cups masa harina, recommend Maseca Corn Flour Masa
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- 4 roasted long green chiles, sliced ½” strips
- 4 cups cooked pinto or black beans, or canned beans, drained
- 2 cups queso fresco, crumbled
- 1 cup cilantro sprigs
- Avocado slices, optional
- Combine the two cups of masa harina, salt, and water. Stir until mixture is smooth and slightly sticky. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, if needed. Dough should be soft like play-doh and not dry.
- Divide masa mixture into 8-16 portions (depending on desired size). Cover with a damp cloth to keep the dough soft and moist. I like keeping mine in the same bowl I mixed the dough.
- Line your tortilla press with plastic wrap. Place each ball between the plastic wrap and press down to form a little ½” patty. Peel off the plastic wrap. If you don’t have a handy dandy IMUSA tortilla press you can use a heavy skillet or pot to make the dough circles. Or use your hands to form a patty.
- Preheat an ungreased griddle or IMUSA comal on medium-high heat. Cook each sope on the comal for about 2-4 minutes on each side until dry. Repeat with the remaining sopes.
- To form the sopes you will need to work quickly while each sope is warm off the comal.
- Take each sope and working from the center outward, pull the warm dough pinching up the edge of the round to make a ridge. You may need to dig into the dough because it has cooked a bit. You will do this all the way around until you create a little boat.
- Set each one aside until you are ready to fill.
- Fire up a comal on the stovetop. Rinse the chile peppers thoroughly and pierce each chile with a knife. Place the chiles on the comal and let them roast evenly. You will have to keep an eye on them, making sure to turn them over until all sides are roasted. When done, the chile pepper skins should be evenly blistered and mostly black.
- Place roasted peppers into a plastic bag and close the bag. Cover the plastic bag with a kitchen towel. The steam will help the blackened skin and chile to separate. When cool, rub off the blackened skin and discard the seeds and stems.
- Slice the chile to desired length for filling your sopes.
Filling the Sopes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill each sope with beans and chile. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with queso fresco, cilantro, and garnish with avocado slices (optional).
- If you prepare the sopes ahead of time, see the notes below for heating and filling your sopes.
To Make Ahead:
- Cook sopes as directed. Place cooled shells in a single layer in an airtight container, cover and seal. Sopes can be stored for one week in the fridge or in the freezer for one month.
- Arrange premade or thawed shells in a single layer on a baking sheet; fill with warm beans and chile. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until warm. Sprinkle with queso fresco, cilantro, and garnish with avocado slices (optional).
Thank you IMUSA for the beautiful comal and tortilla press. We enjoyed making our sopes with your products and hope others enjoy them as much as we did.
Contact IMUSA for more information on these products.
Photography by Jeanine Thurston
Pottery by Cherie Mahon available at firstname.lastname@example.org and in the Santa Fe Art District at CoArt
14 Comments on “Super Sopes”
What is the exact type of chile one should use for this recipe? Would serano peppers work? Or chilacas? Thanks for your help.
In this recipe we roasted long green Anaheim chile. You can also use Hatch or even poblanos. Best of luck.
I need to make about 100 sopes for a party coming up, and I have never made them ahead of time to serve later. How should I store/reheat them at party time?
You can make them about 3 days ahead of time but make sure you undercook them. Let them cool off then keep them refrigerated in an airtight container until the day of your fiesta. Set them out about 3 hours before to come to room temperature, then warm them up in the oven at about 250 degrees F. Put them out so your guests can fill them with some warm toppings of their choice. You may want to make one batch and practice this process to make sure everything turns out well. It’s better to practice ahead of time and know all will go well. Let me know if you have any other questions.
I went once to visit Mexico. I lived with a family while I went to spanish school.
The lady I lived with made a wonderful soup and she put in iceburg lettuce in at the end. It was so crunchy when you ate it. Do you have a recipe like this/
Was it pozole? You can garnish posole with shredded cabbage or ice berg lettuce. YUM! Our pozole and menudo recipes will be in our cookbook (coming soon).
Just came across your site. Thanks for this. I just moved to DC from Texas and am really missing the spice and flavor of Mexican food. Gona try this ASAP
Awww Charlie! So happy you found us! Bienvenido! I just made my sopes a couple of hours ago and they are in the fridge ready for their filling tomorrow for the big game!
I have never had a sope, but it does look great. Your photos are absolutely amazing!
Tonia: Gracias! Sopes are amazing and super easy!!! I can’t even stress the simplicity enough! I need make a video recipe of this one, because I’d like to share how easy, simple and delicioso they truly are!
I love sopes and order them whenever I see them, usually at the little street eateries. They are also great for using up left-overs. Our local tortilleria carries them about 6 to a package, just as you describe.
They are the perfect little left over! Its like a pita pocket, but better 😉 My kids LOVE them! The possibilities of toppings are endless.